Super Conducting NbN Detector

Scontel Detector
  • Instrument Response Function Down to 17.8 ps
  • Extremly Low Timing Jitter (< 45 ps)
  • Spectral Sensitivity from Visible to Mid-IR (0.5 - 2.5 µm)
  • Extremly Low Dark Count Rate (Typ. < 10 cps)
  • Quantum Efficiency > 85 %
  • No Afterpulsing

Superconducting niobium nitride detectors offer sensitivity up to infrared wavelengths and time resolution in the lower picosecond range. The detectors are based on a nano-structured ultra-thin layer (‘nanowire’) of niobium nitride. The structure is cooled down to a temperature of a few Kelvin so that the NbN film is superconducting. A DC current is sent through the device. When the NbN structure absorbs a photon superconduction is temporarily lost. The voltage over the structure then increases for a period of time on the order of a nanosecond. The amplified voltage pulse forms the output signal of the detector.

The bh TCSPC Handbook
8th edition, corrected and updated September 2019


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